Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Frog Population Decline Linked to Killer Pathogen

Jacqueline Conciatore, National Science Foundation | July 28, 2014 02:06pm ET

A virus lethal to wood frog tadpoles may be partly responsible for the alarming and widespread extinction of amphibians seen in recent decades.

The study from the NSF-funded National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) showed that ranavirus, a killer pathogen that causes frogs' internal organs to bleed profusely, could lead to the extinction of isolated populations of wood frogs. "We looked at isolated populations because we wanted to know if it was at all possible that ranavirus could cause extinctions, and isolated populations were the most likely," said lead researcher and NIMBioS postdoctoral fellow Julia Earl.

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